TITLE 16
Education

CHAPTER 16-21
Health and Safety of Pupils

SECTION 16-21-24


§ 16-21-24 Requirements of school safety plans, school emergency response plans, and school crisis response plans.

(a) School safety plans, as required by this chapter, shall address, but not to be limited to, prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. The school safety plans shall include, at a minimum, the following policies and procedures:

(1) Appropriate prevention, mitigation, preparedness and intervention strategies which are based on data to target priority needs and which make use of effective actions based on currently accepted best practices and once developed, the appropriate parts of the state model plan pursuant to general laws § 16-21-23.1 that include consistent, plain language and terminology;

(2) Formalized collaborative arrangements with state and local law enforcement and fire fighter officials, designed to ensure that school safety officers and other security personnel are adequately trained, including being trained to de-escalate potentially violent situations, and are effectively and fairly recruited;

(3) Policies and procedures relating to school building security, including where appropriate the use of school safety officers and/or security devices or procedures;

(4) Policies and procedures for annual school safety training and a review of the school crisis response plan for staff and students;

(5) Protocols for school personnel and students responding to bomb threats, hostage- takings, intrusions, and kidnappings that include consistent, plain language and terminology that is recommended by the model plan pursuant to general laws § 16-21-23.1;

(6) Policies and procedures for responding to violence by students, teachers, other school personnel as well as visitors to the school that include consistent, plain language and terminology that is recommended by the model plan pursuant to general laws § 16-21-23.1;

(7) Policies and procedures for responding to acts of violence by students, teachers, other school personnel and visitors to the school that include consistent, plain language and terminology that is recommended by the model plan pursuant to general laws § 16-21-23.1;

(8) Policies and procedures for contacting appropriate law enforcement officials and EMS/Fire, in the event of a violent incident and that include consistent, plain language and terminology that is recommended by the model plan pursuant to general laws § 16-21-23.1;

(9) Policies and procedures for notification and activation of the school crisis response team that include consistent, plain language and terminology that is recommended by the model plan pursuant to general laws § 16-21-23.1;

(10) Policies and procedures for contacting parents, guardians, or persons in parental relation to the students of the city, town, or region in the event of a violent incident;

(11) Policies and procedures for the dissemination of informative materials regarding the early detection of potentially violent behaviors, including, but not limited to, the identification of family, community, and environmental factors, to teachers, administrators, school personnel, persons in parental relation to students of the city, town, or region students and other persons deemed appropriate to receive that information;

(12) Strategies for improving communication, including use of common, consistent plain language by school district officials, school officials and emergency responders, among students and between students and staff and reporting of potentially violent incidents, such as the establishment of youth-run programs, peer mediation, conflict resolution, creating a forum or designating a mentor for students concerned with bullying or violence, and establishing anonymous reporting mechanisms for school violence;

(13) A description of the duties of hall monitors and any other school safety personnel, including the school crisis response team, and the training requirements of all personnel acting in a school security capacity and policies and procedures for students, personnel who are in the hallway during a lockdown situation that include consistent language and terminology that is recommended by the department of elementary and secondary education;

(14) Policies and procedures for providing notice of threats of violence or harm to the student or school employee who is the subject of the threat. The policy shall define "threats of violence or harm" to include violent actions and threats of violent actions either individually or by groups, but shall not include conduct or comments that a reasonable person would not seriously consider to be a legitimate threat;

(15) Policies and procedures for disclosing information that is provided to the school administrators about a student's conduct, including, but not limited to, the student's prior disciplinary records, and history of violence, to classroom teachers, school staff, and school security, if they have been determined by the principal to have a legitimate need for the information in order to fulfill their professional responsibilities and for protecting such information from any further disclosure; and

(16) Procedures for determining whether or not any threats or conduct established in the policy may be grounds for discipline of the student. School districts, school committees, school officials, and school employees providing notice in good faith as required and consistent with the committee's policies adopted under this section are immune from any liability arising out of such notification.

(b) School safety plans, as required by this chapter, shall further include school emergency response plans specific to each school building contained within each city, town, or regional school district, and shall be developed and approved in consultation with local police and fire. The state police shall provide consultation for those school districts that for whatever reason may not have access to local police. School emergency response plans shall include, and address, but not be limited to, the following elements:

(1) Policies and procedures for the safe evacuation of students, teachers, and other school personnel as well as visitors to the school in the event of a serious violent incident or other emergency, which shall include evacuation routes and shelter sites and procedures for addressing medical needs, transportation, and emergency notification to persons in parental relation to a student. For purposes of this subdivision, "serious violent incident" means an incident of violent criminal conduct that is, or appears to be, life threatening and warrants the evacuation of students and/or staff;

(2) Designation of an emergency response team comprised of school personnel, local law enforcement officials, and representatives from local regional and/or state emergency response agencies, other appropriate incident response teams including a school crisis response team, and a post-incident response team that includes appropriate school personnel, medical personnel, mental health counselors, and others who can assist the school community in coping with the aftermath of a violent incident;

(3) Procedures for assuring that crisis response and law enforcement officials have access to floor plans, blueprints, schematics, or other maps of the school interior and school grounds, and road maps of the immediate surrounding area;

(4) Establishment of internal and external communication systems in emergencies that include consistent, plain language and terminology that is recommended by the model plan established pursuant to general laws § 16-21-23.1;

(5) Definition and formalization of the chain of command in a manner consistent with the national interagency incident management system/incident command system;

(6) Procedures for review and the conduct of drills and other exercises to test components of the emergency response plan, including use of checklists as described in § 16-21-23.1;

(7) Policies and procedures for securing and restricting access to the crime scene in order to preserve evidence in cases of violent crimes on school property; and

(8) Policies and procedures for ensuring timely access to mental health services for those students and school employees affected by a violent incident.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2001, ch. 151, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 42, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 103, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 151, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 211, § 1.)